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RESPONSE FROM NYS DEC REGARDING GEOTHERMAL APPLICATION - LIBRARY
Release Date: February 27, 2007

In recent weeks I have expressed concern about the delays regarding the start of the library construction project. As I indicated to e list readers last week – construction has not yet started at the library,all the contracts have not been executed by those who were awarded bids. The library has been closed for weeks, inconveniencing library patrons.

 One of the concerns I have had relates to the geothermal contracts. The Town Board voted to award bids to a contractor for geothermal in December BEFORE any application was submitted to the NYS State DEC. I had expressed concern about approving bids before applications were submitted. The following e mail, from Kathleen Sanford, Chief of the Permits Section of the NYSDEC Division of Mineral Resources, indicates that as of today the DEC has “not received applications to drill geothermal wells at the Greenburgh library. Staff of the Division of Mineral Resources have not made any verbal promise whatsoever regarding any potential future application to drill wells which would require permits from us.”

I am requesting that the Town Board invite our construction lawyer, TRITON, the architect for the library project to a meeting to discuss this matter.  How does this information impact the project in time and cost? There are no guarantees that the geothermal will be approved by the state and at what location.  Does this impact the other contracts?

It’s2 months since the bids were awarded by the Town Board. All the bids have not been executed by the contractors. What is this doing to the schedule, costs and scope of the library project?  We are already about 10 months behind schedule.

To be discussed at our Town Board meeting --- Wednesday night 7:15 PM.

PAUL FEINER

GreenburghTownSupervisor

From: kfsanfor@gw.dec.state.ny.us
T feiner98@aol.com
Cc: psbriggs@gw.dec.state.ny.us; tnloukid@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Sent: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 11:11 AM
Subject: has the towns application for geothermal been submitted--re: Greenburgh Library

Dear Mr. Feiner:

This is in response to your email, and is lengthy because you stated contract

decisions must be made this week so I have tried to be comprehensive.  In order

to assist you with reviewing the contract mentioned in your email, I have

attached information regarding applications for geothermal wells and included at

the end of this message some links to additional information.  Please note that,

as far as I know, your email to me of 2/23/07at 11:17 PMis the first direct

communication this office has received on behalf of the Town of Greenburgh

regarding this project, although we have heard rumors of a pending proposal.  A

number of drilling contractors are familiar with our application process and

requirements, but I don't know what contractor you have hired or are considering

so I will try to cover everything here. I hope you find this helpful.  First, I

will attempt to answer the questions presented in your email.

To my knowledge, the DEC has NOT received applications to drill geothermal wells

at the Greenburgh library. 

Staff of the Division of Mineral Resources have NOT made any verbal promise

whatsoever regarding any potential future application to drill wells which would

require permits from us, either at the current proposed locations (which are NOT

before us for review at this time) or some other locations around the library.

Once received, the applications to drill will be reviewed for a number of

things, including the proposed locations and the proposed well drilling and

construction methods.  (Note that each individual well requires a separate

application.)  With respect to the proposed locations, I am aware of concerns

about proximity of the library site to an aqueduct which supplies drinking water

to New York City.  When we receive the applications, we will confirm distance to

the aqueduct with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection

(NYCDEP) and determine the need for any special conditions or considerations

based on that distance. 

In addition to the above review, we are also required to determine whether the

proposed locations are in an area of historical or archeological significance,

and if they are then we are required to obtain a sign-off by the Office of

Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation (OPRHP).  You can do a preliminary

check of this using one of the links below, and if the locations are in an area

of potential significance, you can contact OPRHP for a sign-off prior to

submitting applications or you can submit the applications and wait for us to do

it.

Finally, we are required to have the proposed locations screened by DEC's Region

3 Division of Environmental Permits.  The purpose of this screening is to

determine the need for any other DEC permits such as those required for stream

crossings, wetlands, fluid discharge, etc.  Assuming that you (1) provide

complete applications, (2) there are no other permits needed, and (3) there are

no extraordinary issues which need to be addressed, this process typically takes

between 4 and 6 weeks before permits can be issued.   OPRHP involvement as

mentioned above or concerns related to protecting the aqueduct can lengthen this

time period.  Without applications before us, we cannot predict the length of

any additional required time period or whether special drilling conditions such

as directional drilling or deviation surveys may be required to ensure that the

aqueduct is not intercepted.  If your initial applications do not provide

sufficient information to answer these questions or to complete other aspects of

our review, we will issue a notice of incomplete applications and wait for your

responses.  To help ensure complete applications, you and the contractor should

carefully review the following:

Items 1 through 4 on the attached sheet are the required components of your

application.  The forms are all available for download at http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dmn/ogforms.htm. 

Include in the application the following information related to the Casing and

Cementing Program:

- Estimated depth to bedrock and proposed surface casing setting depth. 

Standard well requirements prescribe that all fresh water zones encountered in

unconsolidated and bedrock formations be cased to a depth at least 75' below the

base of fresh water or 75' into competent bedrock (whichever is deeper), and

cemented by a method approved by the Department.  However, we recognize the

unique siting, construction and operating characteristics of geothermal wells as

compared to other regulated wells, and the Department may grant waivers to

standard well requirements provided environmental protection and public safety

are not compromised.  If such

waiver is requested, please describe the proposal and include justification.  In

addition:

- Provide specifications for surface casing (i.e., casing weight in lb./ft. and

casing grade).

- Provide cement slurry weight in pounds per gallon.

- Provide cement yield in cubic feet per sack.

- Provide number of sacks and calculated volume of cement in cubic feet that

will be pumped including 25 % excess.

- Note that a minimum of two centralizers are required on the surface casing. 

Provide installation depths.

Item 3 on the attached sheet describes the required plat.  Given the concern

which has already been identified regarding proximity to the aqueduct, please

include a separate tabular listing of each well and distance from the proposed

well location to the aqueduct.  In addition, please expand the plat to include

the aqueduct and label the distance between the aqueduct and any proposed well

location that is within 1000 feet of the centerline of the aqueduct.  If the

library is proposing to employ directional drilling methods or deviation

surveys, please describe such in the application. 

Item 4 on the attached sheet is an Environmental Assessment Form (EAF).  Please

ensure that all responses are complete, including the following:

You must respond to Question 15 characterizing waste storage and disposal for

well drilling operations.  You must indicate how any fluids used for drilling or

encountered during drilling will be contained and final disposition of fluids. 

You must indicate final disposition of the drill cuttings.  In addition, if well

bleed is to be used during actual geothermal well operation, the planned method

of fluid disposal and any required authorization or permit must be noted.  If no

bleed is planned during well operation, please so indicate.

In your response to Question 18, it should be noted that federal USEPA

authorization or permit is required-please indicate the name of the USEPA

contact for such determination.  You may want to contact Dennis McChesney in the

USEPA's Manhattanoffice (212-637-4232) to discuss federal requirements. In

addition for EAF Question 18, please indicate any required local approvals if

such are required for traffic disturbance if there will be any, fluid disposal

(if a sanitary sewer drain is proposed), source of water for drilling

operations, or anything else directly related to drilling operations.

Note that after we receive applications but before we issue permits, an

inspector from this office will visit the site.  Additional information

requirements may be identified as a result of that visit.

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dmn/depthfee.htm

Fee calculator.  This fee applies to each individual well permit application. 

If the applicant is a municipality, the fee may be waived.  This determination

will be made after receipt and review of the application and organizational

report.  If you believe you are eligible to have the fee waived, you may include

a request for such waiver with your applications in lieu of including the fee,

and we will notify you as quickly as possible whether the waiver is approved or

the fee is required.

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dmn/ccase.htm

Additional details regarding casing and cement requirements.

http://www.oprhp.state.ny.us/nr/

Site for checking whether your proposed locations are historically or

archeologically significant.  The contact person at OPRHP if you require

additional information, or find the locations are sensitive and need a sign-off

is:

Mr. Douglas Mackey

Archeology Unit

NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

PeeblesIslandState Park

P.O. Box189

Waterford, NY12188-0189

518-237-8643

http://www.geoexchange.org/publications/ny.htm

Summary of New YorkStateregulations on geothermal wells, provided by the

Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium - I'm providing this as an additional source of

information just in case I've omitted something above.

I have copied two members of my staff on this email, Ted Loukides and Peter

Briggs.  Mr. Loukides will most likely handle your applications when they are

submitted.  You may contact any of the three of us at 518-402-8056 with

additional questions.

Sincerely,

Kathleen F. Sanford

Chief, Permits Secton

Bureau of Oil & Gas Regulation

NYSDEC Division of Mineral Resources

625 Broadway, 3rd Floor

Albany, NY  12233-6500

518-402-8056

kfsanfor@gw.dec.state.ny.us

>>> <feiner98@aol.com> 2/23/07 11:17 PM >>>

There is some confusion regarding the town's application to use geothermal

technology at our soon to be built new Greenburgh library.

To your knowledge - has any application been submitted to the NYS DEC re:

library and geothermal technology?

To your knowledge - has any verbal promises been made that we can dig the wells

needed for geothermal at the  Greenburgh library site?

Is there any possibility that the application, once submitted, will be rejected?

Has the state DEC made a promise that some location around the library can be

used - even if it is not the location currently under review?

Within the next week or so I will be asked to sign a contract with contractors

who will be constructing the library for the town. The construction depends on a

positive response re: geothermal application. I'd appreciate a response as soon

as possible. If there is a possibility that geothermal won't be approved at the

Greenburgh library the town will have to rebid the library project.

I am also available by phone: 914 993 1540 or by cell: 914 438 1343.

PAUL FEINER

GreenburghTownSupervisor

________________________________________________________________________

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